‘DEXTER’ REVIEW: Season Five, Episode Three

Shawn Hatosy and Michael C. Hall in 'Dexter' -- Photo courtesy of Randy Tepper / Showtime

Review of “Practically Perfect” (05:03)

SPOILER ALERT!

In the third episode of Dexter’s fifth season, we first meet Sonya (the pleasant Maria Doyle Kennedy), the only person Dexter (Michael C. Hall) trusts with his son. Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) has some doubts and wants to keep interviewing candidates, but Dexter is convinced. This Irish woman with her beautiful brogue is the right one.

This being Dexter, I’m sure she’ll turn out to be someone unbelievably heinous. But let’s hope not.

On the carnage front, Debra and her fellow detectives track down the back story of Francisco Alvaro, while Dexter pursues Boyd Fowler (Shawn Hatosy).

Everyone’s favorite serial killer gets closer to his target by showing interest in Boyd’s career as the go-to roadkill man. We also come to learn a little more about this strange Boyd character. He’s quite perceptive and can’t live without Jordan Chase’s motivational tapes. Something in that brain is unhinged.

When Dexter finally decides to move in for the kill, everything goes wrong. As Boyd is stabbed in the neck with a needle, he shoots a dart into Dexter. They both drop like a sack of potatoes.

When they come to, Boyd and Dexter are riding together in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. It’s almost like an episode of Perfect Strangers.

Debra and officer Cira Manzon (April L. Hernandez) continue to track down the Santa Muerta murders. Their one problem is that members of the community are afraid to talk, and when they do, the consequences are dire. One of their top sources is found decapitated a few hours after questioning.

“Practically Perfect,” which I’m assuming is a reference to Mary Poppins and Dexter’s new nanny, is engaging and nicely balanced between the two storylines. Audience members get the bird’s eye view of a creepy murder investigation, but also the personal vendetta of Dexter and Boyd.

A few difficulties still remain: Boyd is interesting, but hardly deserving of so much exposition. The writers don’t know what type of character he is and it becomes apparent.

Similar exposition would be appreciated for Manzon. If she is going to stick around, then let’s learn a little bit about her. If she’s going to be a goner in a couple of episodes, then I suppose we don’t need to know too much.

While everything is turning bloody for the homicide detectives, Sgt. Angel Batista (David Zayas) faces severe repercussions for his bar brawl with a fellow cop. It’s up to Lt. Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), his wife, to patch things up and keep the scrutiny of the high brass off her department.

The final scene of “Practically Perfect” sets much of season five in motion. Just as I found Boyd to be unwelcome company, Dexter dispatches him in the usual manner: knife through the chest. The hook is that someone watched the blood specialist murder Boyd.

That person is the mysterious Lumen Ann Pierce (Julia Stiles), and she’s here to stay. Hopefully that’s a good thing.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
  • Dexter

  • Showtime

  • Starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, Desmond Harrington, Lauren Vélez and David Zayas

  • Rating: ★★★☆

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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